What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that kids don't have to register to use this empowerment- and career-focused site for girls interested in STEM subjects. Generally, For Girls in Science provides a fairly insular experience. Videos appear within the browser, but kids can click on some and end up on YouTube, which houses many not-kid-friendly clips. Users also can include a website URL when posting a blog comment. However, site comments are sparse, and moderators approve messages before they appear on the site, which seems to have helped keep content clean. Even though this is the brainchild of makeup company L'Oreal, For Girls in Science is strictly about encouraging girls to explore and possibly enter STEM fields; it's a great place for budding engineers and scientists to visit.
What kids can learn
Language & Reading
Thinking & Reasoning
- thinking critically
- academic development
- personal growth
Engagement, Approach, Support
Although it's colorful and warm, the site content feels a bit static; only a few blog posts are added each month, and almost half the written profiles are marked as new. Interactive elements primarily involve a quiz, STEM cards to post on Facebook, and blog comments.
Girls get a good overview of some key players and positions within the science, technology, engineering, and math fields. Text and videos explain how women got their start and what education roles require.
Kids can find out about summer and weekend STEM programs for the second through the 12th grades, but the site doesn't provide many additional learning materials. Resources to help parents and teachers strengthen STEM education would be useful.
What's it about?
L'Oréal's For Girls in Science site is about math, science, and tech pioneers -- not makeup. Girls can check out written profiles of more than three dozen women in STEM fields, ranging from 1800s mathematician Ada Lovelace to modern-day biologist Joanna Lynne Kelley, who studies genetic fish mutations. A blog showcases STEM field standouts; you also can view more than 50 high-quality videos featuring innovators, research, and STEM career and pre-collegiate program information, which can be sorted by field.
Is it any good?
FOR GIRLS IN SCIENCE, created by cosmetics manufacturer L'Oréal, was designed to encourage girls' interest in STEM -- science, technology, engineering, and math.
The upbeat, supportive tone helps infuse profiles and other content with a you-can-do-it attitude. The site often relates adults' achievements to readers' lives. The "Women in STEM" section, for example, notes that the profile subjects were once "young girls just like you -- curious, questioning, and exploring the world."
For Girls in Science serves as a good primer to educate elementary-level through high school-age girls about opportunities in STEM fields. The site would be an even stronger learning tool with educational practice exercises and more information on the early steps girls should take to prepare for a STEM career. In its current format, For Girls in Science generally serves as a one-time resource; adding more interactive content might also encourage girls to visit the site for regular inspiration.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about women in STEM fields and gender bias. Talk to your child about subtle gender-based messages some TV shows and products convey. Ask your son or daughter to identify a few gender-bias examples, and discuss why they're generalizations, not fact.
Ask your child which career featured on the site seems most interesting. Which elements make it look like fun? How can they find out more about which skills and education are required?
Users have to enter an email address when posting a blog comment, but other users won't see it when the comment goes live. Why wouldn't you want your e-mail address to be posted? What other information should you keep out of comment posts?